Archives and Rare Books

Patent medicine advertising: The questionable claims and contents of ‘Sapanule’

The @BeckerLibrary Archives and Rare Books team have been providing a liberal dose of quirky quackery with our new weekly Instagram hashtag #MedicalAdMonday. It’s a showcase of salves, tonics, balsams, and bitters that claim to cure all manner of maladies, from chilblains to catarrh, boils to biliousness. But what was in these patent medicines and  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Louise Bourgeois and the first obstetrics book published by a woman

Although the medical field and publications were dominated by men during the European pre-modern period, Louise Bourgeois made a name for herself as both a medical professional and the author of numerous medical texts. To celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting a woman author from our collections! Louise Bourgeois (also known as Boursier) (1563-1636) was a  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Joseph Nash McDowell, the St. Louis legend

Dr. Joseph Nash McDowell, featured in the portrait below, was born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1805 and he received a medical degree from Transylvania University in 1825. Prior to moving to St. Louis in 1839 with the intention of founding his own medical school, McDowell served as an anatomy professor at the Jefferson Medical College in  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Thomsonian Medicine: Herbalism, Home Remedies, and Popular Distrust of Professional Medical Training in 19th-Century America

Be sure to bundle up well this winter to avoid getting sick and catching a cold! While this common ailment has no cure, that hasn’t stopped people throughout history from coming up with ways to alleviate their sniffles, coughs and all other cold-related discomforts. In his work The book of health, Dr. Silas Wilcox described  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Desegregating the Washington University Medical Center, in their own words

While an administrative error led administrators to quietly declare Washington University School of Medicine desegregated in 1947, efforts for truly active integration across the school and its associate hospitals came only after decades of intentional action and advocacy from many dedicated individuals and groups. The Washington University Medical Center Desegregation History Project highlights the stories  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Five centuries of gender bias in anatomy

The portrayal of anatomy is not necessarily objective. Anatomical atlases are products of both the individuals and the culture that produced them, and this is reflected in their pages. In some instances, anatomical texts show an association with eroticism, particularly regarding the female form. One of the most well-known instances of this is Charles Estienne’s  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Wonderfully weird 2022 calendars from 1898 originals now available

The wonderfully weird Antikamnia calendars, published between 1897 and 1901 by the Antikamnia Chemical Company of St. Louis, feature colorful skeletons in humorous or whimsical scenes. This year, we are re-printing the 1898 calendar from Becker Library’s archival collections in the form of a 2022 calendar. The reproduction comes from the 1898 calendar because the  [Read more]

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